China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has invited Taiwanese telecom equipment manufacturers to participate in China's national "Wireless City" projects, according to Taiwanese media. MIIT has set aside RMB 600 mln in funding for Wireless City construction in Chengdu and Ningbo. Taiwanese telecom operators Chunghwa Telecom and Far EasTone Telecommunications (FETnet) have already respectively partnered with the Chengdu and Ningbo branches of China Mobile (NYSE: CHL; 0941.HK), with both cities expected to launch services in H1 2011.
To date, Chengdu has deployed over 6,000 3G base stations and 23,000 Wi-Fi hotspots, extending 3G network coverage to major urban districts and the majority of the surrounding suburban districts. Ningbo has deployed over 1,000 Wi-Fi hotspots providing coverage to high traffic areas such as airports, rail stations, docks, public squares, hospitals and hotels, and its 3G network covers the city proper.
As of the end of 2010, China Mobile partnered with more than ten provinces nationwide, including Shanghai, Zhejiang, Guangdong, and Chongqing, to deploy Wireless City construction, and China had completed construction of Wireless City web/WAP portal platforms in 27 cities.